Manchester United scored two goals in 66 seconds in coming from behind to beat CSKA Moscow 2-1 in the Champions League this morning, becoming the third English team to finish top of their group.
Romelu Lukaku volleyed in just his second goal since September for the 64th-minute equalizer, before strike partner Marcus Rashford drove home an angled winner to complete the comeback and extend United's unbeaten run at home to a club record-equaling 40 games.
CSKA was eliminated from the competition, dropping instead to the Europa League, by finishing third in Group A. The Russian club's chances of sneaking second place looked possible when Vitinho gave them the lead seconds before halftime at Old Trafford.
Manchester City and Tottenham were already assured of first place heading into their final group games today, and Liverpool could secure top spot, too, by beating Spartak Moscow tomorrow. With Chelsea also through, it means England could have five teams into the last 16 for the first time.
United manager Jose Mourinho rested some of his regular first-team players, including goalkeeper David De Gea, with a view to Monday's Manchester derby in the Premier League but chose to play Lukaku again, even though qualification was virtually guaranteed coming into the game.
It might prove to be a wise choice, with his goal — a first-time finish from Paul Pogba's cross — potentially boosting Lukaku's confidence ahead of United's biggest match of the season. Having scored 11 goals in his first 10 games for United since joining from Everton this summer, the Belgium striker had only one in 12 before the CSKA match.
Finishing first in the group is usually seen as preferable to being runner-up. But with the likes of Real Madrid, Juventus and Bayern Munich in line to finish second, there might not be a benefit this season.